Born: May 27, 1930 Primary Instrument: Drums
Kenny Dennis began his music career in the United States Army Band playing drums in three bands from 1948-1952. While serving, he met and performed with fellow musicians, (alto-saxophonist) Cannonball Adderley, his brother, (trumpet player) Nat, and (pianist) Junior Mance. After being discharged, he connected with junior high school mate, (pianist) Ray Bryant and became part of The Ray Bryant Trio along with Jimmy Rowser on bass. They became the house trio at the famous North Philadelphia Jazz Club, “Blue Note” where they played for such notable jazz artist as J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Chris Connor, and Sonny Stitt. His career next took him to New York, where he worked with numerous artists including Miles Davis, Phineas Newborn, Billy Taylor, Erroll Garner, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. In 1957 Kenny performed in Sonny Rollins's Trio with bassist Wendell Marshall at Carnegie Hall -- a historic performance that was commemorated in 2007 with a 50th anniversary concert. Kenny’s next stop was California, when Miles Davis recommended him to Ms. Lena Horne. Recording credits include recordings with such notable artist as Michelle Le Grande Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Nancy Wilson, Gerald Wilson and Langston Hughes.
Kenny and Nancy Wilson were married from 1960 to 1970 and their son, Kenneth (Kacy) Dennis, Jr, was born in 1963.
For the past couple of decades Kenny's passion has been mentoring young jazz musicians. One aspect of this work since 1997 has been through his work as assistant director of the Lab Band at the award winning Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (www.artshigh.org). In 2008 Kenny served on the Steering Committee of the UCLA Friends of Jazz A Great Day in L.A. event, which brought together over 250 Los Angeles area artists, vocalists, composers, and arrangers --- representing a wide variety of age, race, culture, gender, nationality, and a tremendous range of jazz music --- for a group photograph paying homage on the 50th anniversary of Art Kane's legendary photograph, A Great Day in Harlem.
Kenny's motion picture credits include The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Dead Ringer. His television credits include Designing Women, This is Your Life, Fantasy Island, 227, and Life After Life.
Sonny Rollins Plays
Sonny Rollins/Thad Jones
Tracks: 1. Sonnymoon For Two; 2. Like Someone In Love; 3. Theme From Pathetique Symphony.
Personnel: Jimmy Cleveland: trombone; Sonny Rollins: tenor sax; Gil Coggins: piano; Wendell Marshall: bass; Kenny Dennis: drums.
Tracks: 1. Easy to Love; 2. Easy Living ; 3. Autumn in New York; 4. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To; 5.For Some Friends; 6. I Never Knew; 7. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; 8. East of the Sun (And West of the Moon); 9. Original?; 10. Avalon; 11. Blues Greasy.
Personnel: Sonny Stitt: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Bobby Timmons: piano; Edgar Willis: bass; Kenny Dennis: drums.
Tracks: 1. The Congregation; 2. Latin Quarter; 3. I'm Glad There Is You; 4. Main Spring; 5. It's You or No One; 6. I Remember You.
Personnel: Johnny Griffin: tenor sax; Sonny Clark: piano; Paul Chambers: bass; Kenny Dennis: drums.
Michael Legrand Orchestra
Tracks: A1. The Jitterbug Waltz; A2. Nuages; A3. Night In Tunisia; A4. Blue And Sentimental; A5. Stompin' At The Savoy; A6. Django; B1. Wild Man Blues; B2. Rosetta; B3. 'Round Midnight; B4. Don't Get Around Much Anymore; B5. In A Mist;.
Personnel: Art Farmer: trumpet (A3, A5, B5); Donald Byrd: trumpet (A3, A5, B5); Ernie Royal: trumpet (A3, A5, B5); Joe Wilder: trumpet (A3, A5, B5); Miles Davis: trumpet (A1, A6, B1, B3); Gene Quill: alto sax (A3, A5, B5) , Phil Woods: alto sax (A1, A3, A5, A6, B1, B3, B6); Ben Webster: tenor sax (A2, A4, B2, B4); John Coltrane: tenor sax (A1, A6, B1, B3); Seldon Powell: tenor sax (A3, A5, B5); Teo Macero: baritone sax (A3, A5, B5); Jerome Richardson: clarinet, baritone sax (A1, A6, B1, B3); Billy Byers: trombone (A2, A4, B2, B4); Eddie Bert: trombone (A2, A4, B2, B4); Frank Rehak: trombone (A2-A5, B2, B4); Jimmy Cleveland: trombone (A2, A3 to A5, B2, B4, B5); Jimmy Cleveland: trombone (A3, A5, B5); Herbie Mann: flute (A1, A2, A4, A6, B1-B4); James Buffington: french horn (A3, A5, B5); Betty Glamann: harp (A1, A6, B1, B3); Vibraharp - Don Elliot: vibraharp (A3, A5, B5); Eddie Costa: vibraharp (A1, A6, B1, B3); Piano - Bill Evans: piano (A1, A6, B1, B3); Hank Jones: piano (A2, A4, B2, B4); Nat Pierce: piano (A3, A5, B5); Barry Galbraith: guitar (A1, A6, B1, B3); George Duvivier: bass (A2, A4, B2, B4); Milt Hinton: bass (A3, A5, B5); Paul Chambers; (A1, A6, B1, B3); Major Holley: bass, tuba (A2, A4, B2, B4); Don Lamond: drums (A2, A4, B2, B4); Kenny Dennis: drums (A1, A6, B1, B3); Osie Johnson: drums (A3, A5, B5); Michel Legrand: arranger, conductor.
Slide Hampton and His Horn of Plenty>
Tracks: 1. Autumn Leaves; 2. Patricia; 3. Althea; 4. Woody ‘n’ You; 5. Newport; 6. Jazz Corner; 7. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child; 8. Go East Young Man
Personnel: Booker Little: trumpet; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet; George Coleman: tenor sax; Jay Cameron: baritone sax; Slide Hampton: trombone, arr; Kiane Zawadi (aka Bernard McKinney): euphonium; George Tucker: bass; Charlie Persip: drums (1,2); Kenny Dennis: drums (3,4); Pete LaRoca: drums (5-8).
Jazz Scene USA
Phineas Newborn Jr
Tracks: 1. Theme for Bassie; 2. Lush Life; 3. Blues for the Left Hand Only; 4. New Blues; 5. Oleo.
Personnel: Phineas Newborn Jr: piano; Al McKibbon: bass; Kenny Dennis: drums.
Today, Tomorrow, Forever
Tracks: 1. One Note Samba; 2. Go Away Little Boy; 3. Unchain My Heart; 4. I Left My Heart in San Francisco; 5. Wives and Lovers; 6. The Good Life; 7. What Kind of Fool Am I?; 8. I Can't Stop Loving You; 9. On Broadway; 10. Our Day Will Come; 11. Call Me Irresponsible; 12. Tonight May Have to Last Me All My Life.
Personnel: Nancy Wilson: vocals; John Gray: guitar; Bill Perkins: tenor saxophone; Lou Blackburn: trombone; Lou Levy: piano, celesta; Jack Wilson: piano, organ; Kenny Dennis: drums; Milt Holland: congas, percussion.
The Weary Blues With Langston Hughes
Tracks: A1. Blues Montage; A2. Opening Blues; A3. Blues Montage; A4. Commercial Theater; A5. Morning After; A6. Could Be; A7. Testament; B1. Consider Me; B2. The Stranger; B3. Midnight Stroll; B4. Backstage; B5. Dream Montage; B6. Weird Nightmare; B7. Double G Train; B8. Jump Monk.
Personnel: Charles Mingus: bass, arranger (B1 to B8); Leonard Feather: arranger (A1 to A7); Milt Hinton: bass (A1 to A7); Kenny Dennis: drums - (B1 to B8); Osie Johnson: drums (A1 to A7); Al Williams: piano (A1 to A7); Horace Parlan: piano (B1 to B8); Shafi Hadi: tenor sax (B1 to B8); Sam (The Man) Taylor: tenor sax, clarinet (A1 to A7); Jimmy Knepper: trombone (B1 to B8); Vic Dickenson: trombone (A1 to A7); Red Allen: trumpet (A1 to A7); Langston Hughes: Vocals.
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